Many Americans suffer under credit card debt. The average American household has $16,000 in credit card debt, and many households have a lot more than that. The holiday season can make that debt seem all the more daunting because people have to go out to buy presents for family members and friends. No matter how much debt you have, whether it is none or thousands of dollars, here are some tips for avoiding massive debt during the holidays.
Create a Spending Limit
Before the holiday season starts in full force, you should determine who you need to buy presents for and how much you can afford to spend on each person. You should create reasonable amounts to spend on everybody based on how much you make and what your other expenses look like. You need to avoid going over this limit by any means necessary.
Get Rid of Superfluous Expenses
If you would like to free up some cash to spend on Christmas or Hanukkah presents, then you may want to consider eliminating certain monthly expenses. You may be able to find there are things you can do without for the next couple of months to pay for gifts. For example, if you go out to dinner several times a week, then you should think about eating at home more. You will save money, and you may even learn about some great recipes.
Buy Well in Advance
Many people do not even think about holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving. However, you can save a lot of money by handling everything several months before the big day. If you put off shopping until the last minute, then you may need to pay a lot in extra shipping charges to ensure everything arrives on Christmas. This also gives you plenty of time to do research to find the best deals out there.
Consider Homemade Gifts
Instead of going to the store to buy someone a toy or video game, you can provide them with something more personal. This can include a handcrafted item or a personalized gift certificate. For example, you could give someone a certificate saying you will babysit his or her kids for a set number of nights this upcoming year. It does not cost you anything, and the recipient will definitely appreciate it.
Be Willing to Adapt and Improvise
You should certainly plan out your holiday expenses well in advance. However, if you come across a great deal on an item you know someone will love, then do not be afraid to pounce on the opportunity. In the event you can save money on one person’s gift, then you can allocate those funds to someone else to help lighten the load.
Get Something for the Entire Family
Instead of getting your spouse and kids separate gifts, think about getting everyone something they can all share together. You could pay for a fun vacation to a theme park next year. These gifts can be some of the best. With a lot of toys and physical items, the person will use it for a little while and then get bored with it. By giving people experiences, you will give them something they will cherish for years. Creating memories should be a major component of the holiday season.
The holiday season can be extremely stressful for a lot of people trying to ensure everyone in their lives get great gifts. At the end of the day, it is important to understand that none of your loved ones want you to go into debt. Do what you can for the holidays. Your family and friends will simply appreciate the fact you are there.